How to … keep your knives sharp

Knives are important utensils in the kitchen, but once they’re blunt, they’re pointless.

Knives can be expensive, but over time become harder to maintain as they lose shine and sharpness. Here are three ways to maintain your knives and keep them sharp and ready to use.

1. Cut on a cutting board
When cutting on a benchtop surface made of marble, granite or anything else that’s extremely solid, knives will become weaker over time. This can dull the knife much more quickly, making it hard to cut anything!

Don’t choose plastic or glass cutting boards as these also damage the sharpness of a knife.

The best option is a lightweight wooden cutting board, which won’t dull the knife as quickly.

2. Sharpen and hone knives regularly
Sharpening of knives is recommended every 6–12 months to ensure that they keep their ‘edge’.

You can use an electric sharpener or send it to a professional (who uses grinding stones).

Honing, which is not the same as sharpening, re-aligns the sharp edge of a blade, which has become bent with use, something that will sabotage the smoothness of the cut. Honing is recommended every 3–5 months, more regularly than sharpening. Honing steels (tools) are available in home ware stores.

3. Clean, clean, clean!
This is an easy but vital step that must be followed to keep knives in tip-top shape.

To slow down the dulling process, frequently rinse the knife while cutting under hot water and then wipe the knife clean before continuing to cut. This prevents the build-up of food and oils that you may not even see on the blade, and lengthens the life of a sharp knife.

Do you sharpen your knives? Do you ever get them professionally sharpened?

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    COMMENTS

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    MD
    17th Jun 2018
    9:20pm
    Yes, I do sharpen our knives by using what was formerly a sandstone whetting wheel. The cradle and crank having long ago collapsed I simply laid the stone on its side and 'strop' the blades across it in a cutting/drawing motion. Thereafter they are 'finished' on an oil-stone to hone the cutting edge. Although I'm somewhat remiss at regularly sharpening them I'm sharply reminded by a cutting comment from the head chef when they are due for a touch-up.
    *Loloften*
    19th Jun 2018
    6:41am
    I have a very old knife sharpener used by parents many decades ago....it's a handle with lots of very tight metal rings on either side & one just has to swipe the knife across it a few times, works wonders - actually cut the top side-edge of a finger off after sharpening the knife prior to cutting into a lge BBQ'd lump of meat few yrs ago.


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